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turkey fights

Sophie and Addie who were peacefully living together are now archenemies!

I have no idea why. Maybe they are fighting for the acorns falling from the oak trees or a fruit a squirrel dropped in their yard? Maybe Sophie finally decided to stand up to Addie? Did one insulted the other and didn't apologize? Or is it the change of season?...

After 3 days of trying to let things settle by themselves and putting them in timeouts when it became too heated, we decided to split their yard with no shared fence. And we did the same in their barn...

A day later, Addie bulldozed through her temporary pen to go pick a fight with Sophie through the second fence!

We switched both: Sophie in the front pen and Addie in the one in the back. In a Houdini-like fashion, Sophie escaped several times from her pen. She would go harvest acorns in the rest of the yard, or start fence fights with Addie. Since we couldn't figure out how she did it, we moved her back in the back pen where we quickly noticed she could sneak out under the fence. We immediately reinforced her pen and closed all the gaps. Phew! Turkey fights are under control!

BTW if you haven't seen a turkey fight, it's nasty. They peck each other in the face, pinch and twist the skin of their neck, jump with their feet first to scratch their enemy! Lots of bruises and cuts as a result...

But this morning, Addie decided that if she couldn't fight with Sophie then she would with Skye! Although a bit scared at first, Skye found that very exciting and started lunging back. Luckily the exterior fence is metal and not plastic as the temporary one, but I don't think it will withstand a full blown dog/turkey fight! We of course immediately separated them. Luckily Skye calmed down pretty quickly and wasn't eager to re-engage. But later in the afternoon, Addie did it again. When Skye was minding her own business near her fence, she puffed up and lunged at her. Naturally, Skye responded and things escalated.

So we switched the turkeys again, moved Sophie back in the front pen. Hopefully she will not provoke Skye. We reinforced that pen since we now know how she escapes.

I really hope that whatever is happening with the turkeys is transient, because we really can't manage 2 turkeys hating each other on the long run...


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